Announcing Nektar PACER MIDI Foot-Controller

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User avatar
justin3am
KVRAF
10430 posts since 7 May, 2006 from Southern California

Post Thu Mar 22, 2018 8:53 am

I'm very excited about this one. I've been involved in this project for some time and I'm so happy to see it finally get a public announcement.

http://www.nektartech.com/pacer-midi-da ... oller.html
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WmgRPm8wBpE
Nektar Tchnologies have just announced a new controller to add to their range of integrated MIDI controllers. This time its a MIDI floor controller which features 11 footswitch controls each with 3 RGB LEDs.

PACER also has up to 6 prgrammable external footswitch control inputs for accessing even more parameters. It seems like this could be a great addition to a live rig or studio based control of DAW, which was what PACER was originally desigend to do.

“Originally, PACER was intended to be a DAW controller providing musicians with hands-free control of their computer music setup”, says Nektar Chief Niels Larsen. “Then enthusiasm got the better of us and we couldn’t help adding a host of useful additional control functionality. Now you can also control MIDI preamps or effects as well as switching channels and reverb on non-MIDI amps with the on-board relays. PACER’s switching power will boost your creativity whether you are recording or playing live.”

Features:

10 programmable footswitches each with RGB LED
1 preset footswitch
2 row LED display
1 encoder with push switch for programming, navigation and control
24 user configurable presets
2 Read-only presets for DAW track and transport control
Sends up to 16 MIDI messages or relay switches on preset recall
Up to 6 MIDI messages or actions programmable for each control
2 expression pedal sockets
2 TRS jack connectors for up to 4 external footswitches
2 TRS jack connectors for controlling up to 4 switch sockets (FX or channels)
MIDI output (USB MIDI interface/direct MIDI connection)
USB connector for connecting to a computer, USB host or USB power supply (for power only)
PSU socket: DC 9V / 600mA, center negative (PSU not included)
Factory Presets include Line 6 Pod and Helix, Fractal Audio AxeFX, Avid Eleven Rack, Kemper Profiler, Elektron Octatrack Pickup Machine, Electro Harmonix 45000 Looper, MIDI Machine Control, a Relay Preset for non-MIDI amps and more.
Nektar DAW integration for Transport and Track control

PACER is available in April 2018 priced at: $229.99 US / £199.99 / €229.99 MAP
I have used other MIDI foot controllers over the years but even before I worked at Nektar, I thought the concept could be done better and significantly expanded. My biggest gripe has always been with the amount of configuration it requires to setup most foot controllers for even basic DAW control functions. So that is the core of this product. We took that idea much further, giving the user the ability to switch between easy to use DAW control modes (Track and Transport) and a deeply programmable User Preset mode.

For years, I was surprised that more focus hasn't been placed on the Relay functions of the foot controllers that have them. Yeah, they can be used for channel switching on amps that have a foot switch input but relays can do so much more than that. In fact, anything that has an input for a momentary or latching footswitch can be controlled from Pacer's relays. Sustain input? Yep! Tap Tempo input on a guitar FX pedal? Try tapping the tempo of 4 pedals at once! Effects with external bypass or hold inputs? Now your rack effects can operate like stomp boxes. Since each Stomp Switch can control 6 functions at once you can toggle relays and MIDI messages at the same time (or in sequence).

There is so much this thing can do, it's difficult to cover all of it in a single post!
Last edited by justin3am on Wed May 16, 2018 7:50 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
zvenx
KVRAF
6585 posts since 16 Feb, 2005 from Kingston, Jamaica

Re: Announcing Nektar PACER MIDI Foot-Controller

Post Thu Mar 22, 2018 9:28 am

Looks interesting.
So I assume you can configure the two expression pedal connectors to output midi cc?

Me personally, wished it had space for more expression pedal connectors as that would be how I would more use it....(as expression midi faders)

Best of luck with it.

rsp
sound sculptist

User avatar
justin3am
KVRAF
10430 posts since 7 May, 2006 from Southern California

Re: Announcing Nektar PACER MIDI Foot-Controller

Post Thu Mar 22, 2018 9:45 am

zvenx wrote:Looks interesting.
So I assume you can configure the two expression pedal connectors to output midi cc?

Me personally, wished it had space for more expression pedal connectors as that would be how I would more use it....(as expression midi faders)

Best of luck with it.

rsp
Yes, the EXP inputs can transmit up to 6 CCs at once, all configurable. Yes, more expression inputs would have been nice but we were struggling to keep the price down. I would like to do a more advanced version of PACER, which would be more expandable but we will have to see how this product does.

Hopefully anyone who uses both hands to play an instrument, will find PACER useful.

User avatar
zvenx
KVRAF
6585 posts since 16 Feb, 2005 from Kingston, Jamaica

Re: Announcing Nektar PACER MIDI Foot-Controller

Post Thu Mar 22, 2018 9:49 am

justin3am wrote:............
Hopefully anyone who uses both hands to play an instrument, will find PACER useful.
Indeed. Because I also play guitar and bass its what got me into using my feet more than I would as a keyboard player and indeed it is so useful when both hands are occupied.
Understand about the price point.

Two may be in my future.
we shall see.

rsp
sound sculptist

Jim Y
KVRist
383 posts since 29 Jun, 2008 from Mid Wales, UK.

Re: Announcing Nektar PACER MIDI Foot-Controller

Post Thu Mar 22, 2018 10:30 am

Interesting...
...but, someone really needs to address the lack of a basic, affordable 13note pedal board in the market.
They don't have to be organ style lever pedals
And, those 13 pedals might double as control switches might they not?

User avatar
justin3am
KVRAF
10430 posts since 7 May, 2006 from Southern California

Re: Announcing Nektar PACER MIDI Foot-Controller

Post Thu Mar 22, 2018 2:36 pm

I agree but that was not our intention for this product. Of course, the Stomp Switches can be configured to send MIDI note values but the Stomp Switches are not velocity sensitive. Also, you would likely want octave up and down switches for something designed to be used like a keyboard. With 15 switches, you are talking about a larger product.

tapper mike
KVRAF
4765 posts since 20 Jan, 2008

Re: Announcing Nektar PACER MIDI Foot-Controller

Post Fri Mar 23, 2018 8:49 pm

yikes sorry didn't see it (price)

edited

Winstontaneous
KVRian
1382 posts since 15 Feb, 2006 from Berkeley, CA

Re: Announcing Nektar PACER MIDI Foot-Controller

Post Sun Mar 25, 2018 12:02 pm

justin3am wrote: Yes, the EXP inputs can transmit up to 6 CCs at once, all configurable. Yes, more expression inputs would have been nice but we were struggling to keep the price down. I would like to do a more advanced version of PACER, which would be more expandable but we will have to see how this product does.

Hopefully anyone who uses both hands to play an instrument, will find PACER useful.
Interesting, I thought of maybe getting a Keith McMillen SoftStep for this kind of task but as you mention the need to program things to work for each DAW is a PITA.

May I suggest you call the advanced version GREMLIN? :dog: :party: :tu:

cjadams
KVRer
2 posts since 4 Aug, 2013

Re: Announcing Nektar PACER MIDI Foot-Controller

Post Tue May 08, 2018 8:56 am

i still have seen zero videos from nektar or anyone else... what's up with that...crickets

User avatar
justin3am
KVRAF
10430 posts since 7 May, 2006 from Southern California

Re: Announcing Nektar PACER MIDI Foot-Controller

Post Tue May 08, 2018 9:11 am

Pacer just started shipping to customers over the weekend. I think the first registrations have just started coming in.
We don't really have a marketing department and we don't have the facilities to make product videos, in-house. I'm working on some videos myself but I'm afraid it's not my area of expertise, so they will likely look amateurish. :oops:

In the meantime, I have started putting up more detailed documentation about Pacer's user presets and modifying the templates, I hope to have more of that done in the near future. You can find more information here: http://www.nektartech.com/Support/pacer-support

tapper mike
KVRAF
4765 posts since 20 Jan, 2008

Re: Announcing Nektar PACER MIDI Foot-Controller

Post Tue May 08, 2018 10:29 pm

Still the product deserves a video.

I keep coming back to this as an item I want to have even though I'm flat broke. Love the transport controls on a pedal board. When I first started looking for a floor control unit all I wanted was something I could send a sustain and an expression pedal through usb. I've got them I just don't have a keyboard to support them.

User avatar
VariKusBrainZ
KVRAF
8084 posts since 16 Dec, 2002

Re: Announcing Nektar PACER MIDI Foot-Controller

Post Tue May 08, 2018 10:38 pm

Jim Y wrote:Interesting...
...but, someone really needs to address the lack of a basic, affordable 13note pedal board in the market.
They don't have to be organ style lever pedals
And, those 13 pedals might double as control switches might they not?
Behringer already did

User avatar
justin3am
KVRAF
10430 posts since 7 May, 2006 from Southern California

Re: Announcing Nektar PACER MIDI Foot-Controller

Post Wed May 09, 2018 9:21 am

Well the FCB 1010 has 12 foot switches but only 10 are programmable, so you don't have a full octave with that controller. With Pacer, you can add external foot switches, for a total of 14, so you can have a full Octave of MIDI notes plus some extra foot switches. I have been playing around using Pacer to send MIDI notes and it's a lot of fun. Pacer has a feature which allows you to step through 6 different MIDI messages sequentially, so you can assign 6 different notes to each of the steps for a single control. Then each time you press the foot switch, it will send a different note from that sequence.

The closest thing I can think of, to what Jim Y is describing, is the KMI 12 Step. I haven't used that one myself.

tapper mike
KVRAF
4765 posts since 20 Jan, 2008

Re: Announcing Nektar PACER MIDI Foot-Controller

Post Thu May 10, 2018 8:19 am

kmi 12 step has some bad reviews. Mostly concerning the close grouping of the notes which makes it hard to avoid hitting the wrong note.

songsfor
KVRer
7 posts since 25 Jul, 2004

Re: Announcing Nektar PACER MIDI Foot-Controller

Post Fri May 11, 2018 7:20 pm

Hello,

Does this product come with a midi editor software and maps for major amp sims? I want to use it mostly in order to control guitar amp sims but don't want to spend Hours in programming it.

Is this product more easy to use than FCB 1010 ?

Best regards,
Mathias

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